Short Story: Mastermind or Not?

I look out over the city.  There are cheers.  I hate it. You see, the problem is that I tried to be a villain.  I never actively tried to help people.  In fact, the problem with my city was the morass of super-heroes.  It was actually a problem because you had “heroes” like Betsy Bobcat – a literal bobcat that had been given human intelligence.  Her thing was people illegally feeding pigeons.  Did you know it was illegal to intentionally feed pigeons?  I didn’t.  Then there was the strongarm-super-fast Mr. Thumbs.  Something about his thumbs was special I guess.  He was annoyingly particular about people speeding through lights. I hated them.  I hated that one of the speedsters gave my dad a jaywalking ticket and when my dad tried to argue it in court he was given 30 days in jail for “anti-superhero actions.”  A misdemeanor that not only lost him his accounting job but made it nearly impossible to find

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Short Story: Dragon Drops

The bookshop was really just one of these hole-in-the-wall places, a door between two bright, shiny businesses.  The window was stacked with books, hiding everything inside. There was a posterboard that read “All Trade Paperbacks, $1” in front of the four towers of crappy paperback books – mostly romance novels from the scrawling letters – which balanced in the window. The woman who entered this day was not tall, not beautiful, and not dressed up. Wearing jeans and a shirt that read “Talk N Er Dy to me” with the periodic symbols for Nitrogen, Erbium, and Dysprosium for the Nerdy spelling. It was a little loose and around her waist was tied the arms of a hoodie. Behind the counter the proprietor raised his head without opening his eyes.  His sharp teeth gleamed as he said, “I think you might be lost ma’am.” “I hope not,” she replied, turning in a slow circle to take in the shelves of precariously stacked shelved. “Where

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Short Story: Wind chimes

Staring out the window was hardly the most productive use of time, but it’s all Cordy wanted to do today.  It was just cloudy enough to be gloomy, with a pallor that it might rain any moment.  It was just cold enough to make a t-shirt too light and a sweater too heavy.  In all, it was the worst sort of day in her opinion. On the other hand, it was exactly the kind of weather which was most useful to her particular brand of magic.  In those moments before the rain broke, the equilibrium of the world hung in balance and if she could time everything right, Cordy could change the world. Most witches had to use potions or long complicated spells.  Cordy had spent years struggling with why sometimes her spells were powerful and sometimes they didn’t work at all.  It had been something of an accident when she figured out she was linked to the weather. She had

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Writing: Mary Sue

I stood up in the crowd of people. They noticed me. I pushed back against the bully to protect someone. I won. I feel no pain. No fear. My rage is always completely justified. My love is always true and pure. I can wield any weapon I desire. I can drive any vehicle. All the skills are mine. Does any writer NOT struggle against the Mary Sue/ Gary Stu conundrum? I think I would like to gather the Mary Sue/Gary Stu stories of famous authors and put them into a book. How many choose Star Wars? Star Trek? Harry Potter? Firefly? Would there be cross-overs? I mean, how cool would it be to see JK Rowling write her fanfic in Discworld or to see Neil Gaiman put his Gary Stu into the Wheel of Time or Middle Earth?  Just to see what some of the “big” authors would choose and where they would go… much less how they would portray

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Short Story: Walking Alive

I stumbled into the house, my wrist throbbing. I went to the bathroom first. I know it’s useless, but 28 years of cleaning cuts aren’t broken in a day. An hour? Anyway, I clean out the wound and wrap some gauze around my wrist. I weave my way past the boxes of dry goods I’ve collected. Damn and I just found that pallet of fruit loops too. My favorite. It took me a whole day to get that pallet back here. I go into the living room and pull out paper and pens. I want to leave some notes for people. I don’t know if mom will get this letter, it’s been years since I saw her, but I have to hope. Hope is all that kept me going this long. I finish the letter to my parents and write some letters to some of my new friends. I want to let them know how sorry I am. I failed and

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Short Story: Squirrels in the Attic

The family had three cats and a dog.  Two of the cats were hunters and came from the same litter – Taffy and Cinnamon. There was a long debate about which cat to put into the attic the first time the family heard squirrels.  Taffy was far and away the superior hunter.  He brought in everything from snakes to bats.  Alive. Apparently bringing them home and letting the humans play with them was the most affectionate thing he could think.  No matter how many times he got yelled at. No matter how often he was reminded “you bring it inside, you lose it!” Cinnamon might or might not be an amazing hunter; she was smart enough not to be seen bringing in her prizes. The only time anyone knew she had been hunting was when remains were discovered.  Her favorite spot to take these “toys” was the bathtub in the hall.  Somehow she learned that if you put a mouse in the bathtub –

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Short Story: Christmas Zombies

Somehow the zombies are worse around the holidays. I can’t explain why. I mean, I live in Atlanta, which is known for our bad zombies.  When I go to other parts of the country for trips and they talk on the radio about their zombies, I look around and just have to laugh.  What they consider a horde we call a good day here in Atlanta! I creep around 285, growling at the shamblers who are in my way. I really wish these zombies would just get out of my way so I can get home. Tonight we’re having the relatives over – not my relatives… well I guess I married into it so I can’t complain too much.  But I will complain to myself here and now.  In my car, I will rant and rave. There are two types of zombies that are especially obnoxious – the shambers. Those slow-moving-always-in-the-way zombies that are EVERYWHERE.  They don’t seem to go anywhere and they

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Short Story: Brain Port Plug Data recovery #1785

The radio ping tells me Moria is on the way. I slowly peel myself out of the chair to stand. As the last of the mesh releases me, I double-check the auto-pilot one more time. The captain felt pretty confident this lane should be safe, but I still feel the whole deal was pretty shady. It’s not like bugs tend to trade. What in the milky way could we be delivering to bugs? Supposedly those crates are full of food stuffs and art.  Like bugs want art. I am about to leave the cockpit when I see a blue tinted with purple flash on the display. I throw myself back into my pilot’s chair, link my arm port back to the control rig and begin talking, “Class 3 shield coming up at sixteen point three reser from five o’clock. Will be alongside in three minutes and twenty seconds.” Moria bounds into the room, her long limbs swinging and her long

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